Paris Summer Style Report: Footwear

What they're wearing in Paris: summer footwear. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

During our recent visit to France, we experienced what’s known as a “canicule” (extreme, sustained heat 🌞🌞🌞). It wasn’t the weather I would have chosen for our visit, but did give me an opportunity to observe the summer style trends in Paris, and how they stay stylish in the heat.

Paris Summer Style: Footwear

In the parts of Paris we visited, I most often saw these 3 styles of summer footwear:

Sneakers

Adidas classic white Stan Smith sneaker. See the Paris summer style trends for footwear at une femme d'un certain age.

Primarily white, primarily classic styles (think Stan Smiths), and almost always lace-ups. I did not notice many slip-on styles. I did see the occasional clunky “Dad” sneaker. Veja seemed to be a popular brand.

Sneakers are worn with dresses, skirts and trousers. I noticed a few women who wore the laces untied and tucked into the shoe, perhaps because of the heat.

Wedge Sandals

Vionic brown espadrille wedge sandals. Details and more Paris summer style trends at une femme d'un certain age.

Nothing too vertiginous, either in the heel or platform. Nothing too fussy or formal either. Comfort and walkability seemed to be primary considerations. Colors were often brown, tan, and occasionally red or coral. I did not see many black sandals.

I was very happy with my Mephisto sandals, which again proved comfortable for hours on my feet in the heat.

T-Strap and Flat Sandals

Sam Edelman gold snake t-strap sandals. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I saw a surprising number of women (of all ages) wearing thin-soled, strappy sandals, often a t-strap style like this one. While they’re cute and summery, they’re not what I’d recommend for hours on one’s feet on city streets. (For travel and sightseeing, I’d choose a style with a bit more support, like this one.)

What footwear do you find most comfortable for summer travel?

Stay in touch.

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31 Comments

    • Holly
      July 10, 2019 / 7:39 am

      I’ve been wary of the T-straps but seeing your recommendation, I have placed a pair on my wish list. Thanks!

  1. July 10, 2019 / 6:21 am

    Sneakers win out for walking! I would wear something dressier/less comfortable if I only had a short walk to my destination, like dinner, otherwise you need to think of comfort.

  2. Cassandra
    July 10, 2019 / 6:36 am

    I have a pair of Born ankle strap sandals that are now several years old that are my go-to for summer travel if I’m going to be doing any amount of walking. They are cute with jeans, shorts, skirts, summer dresses. Really, they go with anything that isn’t super fancy. Mine are black, because I wear a lot of black, but they have them in multiple colors. I think brown ones are next on my list.

  3. Elizabeth
    July 10, 2019 / 6:39 am

    We were in Paris the week before the heat wave and frankly I think the women in Florence and Rome dress better than the Parisian women.

    • Susan B
      July 10, 2019 / 7:11 am

      It’s a different aesthetic, that’s for sure. 🙂

  4. Kathy
    July 10, 2019 / 6:45 am

    My various Gabor Sandals/shoes keep me on my feet while traveling. Supportive and soles cushion cobblestones !

  5. Eileen
    July 10, 2019 / 6:46 am

    I like to wear Ecco brand lace ups in leather. I bought Toni Pons in Italy made of canvas, lower heel versions, that worked in the heat wave. My friend likes Superga, I can’t wear rubber/ latex because of allergies, so they aren’t for me.

      • Katrinka
        July 11, 2019 / 12:11 am

        Victoria, I looked this up and they come in great colors on other websites. Several on sale depending on the color. I have several pairs of Ecco and find they fit me well. Definitely going to get a pair of these!

    • Margot
      July 10, 2019 / 7:45 am

      I have the Ecco sneakers in black, navy, and brick colors. As everyone has said – super comfortable and super versatile! I am honestly taking a look at the metallic fig color that I’ve seen recently – so pretty!

      • Lee Rosenthall
        July 10, 2019 / 8:25 am

        I also own several pairs of Ecco sneakers (black, camel, silver, white, brown, and bronze) – one of the few brands that fits me well. Funnily enough, they’re also the best brand for my son. I’ve bought him three pairs now as well. 🙂 Hard for me to wear for very long in the heat, however, even the summer styles. My feet are cold-blooded – hot in the summer, cold in the winter!

    • Ann M
      July 13, 2019 / 6:51 pm

      My Supergas are HEAVY. I don’t find them to be a great travel shoe.

  6. Nancy
    July 10, 2019 / 7:23 am

    Definitely sneakers for walking. I had a pair of Skecher sandals one time that were very comfortable for walking too.

    • Ann M
      July 13, 2019 / 7:00 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you Marian!!! I was looking for something just like this for Ireland so I wouldn’t ruin my espadrilles (And what better than a designer from Denmark? Similar latitude…) They have 5 star reviews everywhere! I ended up ordering non-metallic Tulips that cover the back (not slides) in both Navy and Latte, thinking I’d see which one I liked best on my foot. They arrived today. Guess what? I’m keeping both! 😀 (I was worried the Latte would be a pinkish beige, but they are more golden and look great!) They are amazingly comfy right out of the box. So lightweight! I love that the footbed is leather – I’ve gotten a bit picky about that lately and have come to dislike encapsulating my feet in plastic.

  7. Tracy
    July 10, 2019 / 7:32 am

    Please check out Charleston Shoe Co, specifically the Cannon wedge. Stretchy fabric surrounds your toes, around your ankle, machine washable. I have a tan pair that I have worn exclusively for 2 weeks solid in Rome, Venice, London, Scotland, Caribbean…Look great with pants, shorts, dresses. Extremely comfy. I bought them in Nantucket and wear them overtime I’m on the ferry back and forth. I can’t tell you how many times ladies have asked me where I got them. Wish I got a referral fee. Stores on East Coast but good website.

  8. Rose Floyd
    July 10, 2019 / 8:14 am

    Headed to Italy and Greece soon and for comfort I’m taking Allbird sneakers.
    I’m in love with this shoe because they are so comfortable and they aren’t clunky–the style is like Keds.
    They are all wool, the lining is wool, and you don’t need socks if you don’t want to wear them. They accomodate orthodics, as well, but when I purchased for myself and my adult children, we all had to size up. Wash delicate, or by hand, and air dry.

    The other comfort shoe I am bringing is the Keene Rose sandal.
    The Kenneth Cole Gentle Souls gladiator sandal in gold metallic will be for dinner and brief walks.

    I have never worn sneakers overseas as I like to blend in with the locals and at all costs want to avoid being disrespectful or crass in dress, but at this juncture comfort and safety win out, especially in summer months when boots aren’t an option. Fortunately, your observations that others are wearing sneakers and your recommendations indicate this is a good time to indulge.

  9. Elizabeth
    July 10, 2019 / 9:33 am

    I swear by the Ecco “Flash” t-strap sandals – very comfortable, almost flat, well-padded but reasonably stylish, and they pack very small. They’re not too pricey, either. I’m on at least my 3rd pair of them (they’re quite durable, but I wear them almost every day and do lots of walking). The only drawback is that my favorite of the various Flash styles seems to come only in black.

  10. Carolyn
    July 10, 2019 / 9:43 am

    Do you have any suggestions for my seemingly new situation that sneakers affect my big toes after walking in them for hours. I feel an open toed sandal will suit me better, but that limits it for sunny weather. Any thoughts? I have gone a half size longer but still my toe nails bump the front of a tie up sneaker. I am perplexed. Thanks for your help.

    • Lee Rosenthall
      July 10, 2019 / 2:04 pm

      Carolyn, this has been an ongoing issue for me as well for years as the fat pads on my feet have atrophied, so my feet are very THIN. I wear Chacos or Tevas in warm weather and generally size down, but when you need a closed shoe, I’ve found TheInsoleStore.com sells some helfpul items. Those gel things never seem to work for me, but I’ve found anything I’ve ever bought from Pedag to be very well-made (love their half insoles in my boots), and that website sells many options. Try one of their half inserts (designed to be worn in the front of your shoesin the center of your foot) to keep your feet from slipping in those larger size shoes.

    • Wendy
      July 11, 2019 / 1:28 pm

      I would recommend Barking Dogs blog. The author reviews shoes for hard -to-fit feet. She may have some ideas for styles or brands that may work better for you.

      • Lee Rosenthall
        July 15, 2019 / 10:26 am

        BarkingDogShoes.com is a great website, but I haven’t had much luck finding shoes there for low-volume feet, which is usually the issue when your feet slip forward in your shoes.

  11. Janet R
    July 10, 2019 / 9:55 am

    Travelling full time, and mostly avoiding winter climates, I carry 5 pairs of shoes (plus my Salomon hiking shoes). I have cute TAOC sandals that are fabulous for lots of walking and go with everything. I have a pair of low wedge sandals ‘for good’ but rarely wear them. A pair of black and grey slip on Merrell sneakers for everyday that I wear the most; and two pairs of Rollie lace ups (in punched pink chalk and a punched suede mid blue) that I wear for casual or for dining out etc. The Rollie shoes (Australian, but available internationally) are fabulous and were designed specifically for light weight travel. They make a full range from sandals to sneakers.

  12. Cathy D.
    July 10, 2019 / 10:52 am

    Sneakers, sneakers and more sneakers are all I wear in the summer. I like the New Balance 990s because of their great support. Also because they are cool in summer due to mesh inserts, which for some reason don’t leak in the rain. They are great in all kinds of weather year round and last much longer than most other sneakers.

  13. Coach Laura
    July 10, 2019 / 5:31 pm

    Thanks for the round up.

    I recently bought the Sofft Mauldin strappy wedge sandals shown above. I did buy black because I have enough tan and beige type already. I never wear anything above 2″ and found these to be comfortable enough to wear all day to work. Not sure that they are comfortable enough to bring on a trip to Europe or not.

  14. Jill
    July 10, 2019 / 7:39 pm

    Hotter shoes made in England are very comfortable. They have good sales and you can buy them in the States on line. I just about live in them.

  15. Daniella
    July 11, 2019 / 1:03 pm

    Fit flops are my “go to” right now as I’m currently trekking through Europe for a whole month. In addition I have with me German Gabor, Italian Superga, and just purchased in Budapest a pair of white great Puma. Using all of the above on the mostly uneven surfaces in Bucharest!!

  16. Wendy
    July 11, 2019 / 1:33 pm

    I love the look of the Ecco Soft 7, but I need a wide width and also a wider toe box for comfort with bunions. Does anyone have suggestions? I haven’t been able to find any “classic” look sneakers to fit.

    • Ellie
      July 14, 2019 / 4:23 pm

      Barking Dogs Shoes blog is a fabulous source of info about good shoes for all kinds of “problem” feet. Great reviews and recommendations. I’m sure they’ve done a sneaker roundup.

  17. July 18, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    When we were in Paris in May it was still a bit chilly for sandals. Absolutely everyone seemed to be wearing sneakers and I felt very much in place wearing my rose gold lace up ones. (Airwalk Speed Vitesse)

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